Lauren Latture’s dedication to her alma mater is one reason she was named the 2019 Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars Alumna of the Year at the Haslam College of Business. Despite a busy work schedule since graduating from Smith GLS in 2014, she periodically returns to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to deliver presentations, lead breakout sessions, mentor students and conduct recruiting events for PepsiCo.
Smith GLS promotes the development of international and intercultural awareness, leadership, personal growth and professional development. Coming to UT from Kingsport in 2010, Latture learned of the program through her initial business classes. She was impressed by what she saw.
“I thought it was a great opportunity and jumped at the chance to get on board,” she said.
Among the opportunities the program presented to her were working with a group of exceptional peers, learning from international business professionals and interning at different companies, including a stint with Fareshare in London, United Kingdom.
“It was life-changing,” Latture says. “The whole time in London, the cohort of students really challenge you and push you. It was a phenomenal experience.”
The program also provided her a path to her current position, as PepsiCo recruited her during her time at Haslam. Latture moved through the supply chain planning ranks at PepsiCo’s Chicago location and worked for a year at their California division. Now she is back in Chicago serving as the integration manager for KeVita & Naked Juice.
Her job responsibilities include recruiting from UT, and, based on her student experience at Haslam, Latture suggested that PepsiCo’s recruiting program should focus more on relationship-building and students’ needs.
“We present recruiting in a way that isn’t just bombarding you with Pepsi knowledge,” she says. “We talk about networking, personal branding, managing time, managing projects, managing up – all skills that are valuable, not just at Pepsi, but at any company and in any function, not just supply chain.”
Latture’s approach has served PepsiCo well. The company has recruited several UT graduates, including from Smith GLS.
“It’s such an honor,” she says of being named Smith GLS Alumna of the Year. “I love being involved with the program. It gave so much to me. I’m just happy to be able to give back to them and help develop the next round of students to go out into the world and be successful.”
Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist (865-974-3589, firstname.lastname@example.org)